Q: What could be better than Opening Day of Trout?
A: Not Opening Day of Trout.
Opening Day of Trout in Pennsylvania seemed a huge success. There was a heavy turnout. Vehicles were packed into every possible pull off near stocked streams, and the banks were lined with eager anglers. I saw a lot of kids fishing and many stringers destined for the frying pan.
But some anglers chose to skip this annual crowded event.
“Oh, I never fish Opening Day,” one smiling fly fisherman told me several days later. And I didn’t have to ask why. We had the stream to ourselves, plenty of parking, and another round of stocked trout.
A significant portion of trout anglers only fish that first weekend. However, a few streams receive second and even third stockings. By following the published stocking schedules, it is possible to have an even greater day of fishing, with the now relatively lighter fishing pressure.
The post Opening Day crowd seems to be more fly-fishermen and increasingly from the catch and release school of thought. The returning rainbows learn to think twice about what is drifted in front of their noses. We educated a bunch of trout the other day. These hatchery-raised fish grow from gullible to the crafty adversary many anglers seek. Increased patience, stealth, lighter line, smaller hooks or flies may be part of the solution to this rising challenge.
Not far from my house is a run that holds at least four large golden rainbow trout or “palominos.” However, they’ve seen all the tricks and have refused everything my son and I have offered. So far. Can’t wait to get out and try again.
And isn’t that what fishing is all about?
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.